Editor, the Times:
So they passed it. Moved the proposal onward and upward, until they can pass the final decision to give away an obscene amount of our money to a private business enterprise.
With just 72 hours notice, Abbotsford council 'granted' us the right to speak to them about the YMCA proposal.
This was the first public hearing, though they will suggest that we could have come to the budget discussions held in the library.
Almost no one in Abbotsford was aware that a cool chunk of change was about to be given to the YMCA.
Nor was this held along the lines of a genuine public hearing, in that there was no adequate notice given.
The first announcement, (last Friday) of this meeting, said this would be our last chance to speak to the giving away of our money.
The public has yet to have a first, genuine opportunity to do that.
The details available to us, and to the council, are incredibly vague, but people asked enough questions to elicit some clarity.
The Y is in it for profit. This is not all about an altruistic organization that will swoop into Abbotsford and cure all our social dysfunction for free.
The Y is asking to be tax exempt. The Y will be in direct competition with day care, housing, fitness clubs and other health-related providers, and who knows what else, since real data is missing.
Other non-profits have been begging for more money from the city, (and many worthy groups go hungry).
What they beg for is peanuts compared to this lavish, multi-million gift council wishes to bestow on the Y. Council was given a list of other Canadian cities. No other city has given such a huge amount with so little in return.
Why is this council trying so hard to ram yet another massive expense onto the taxpayer, with so little information, and so little time for the community to speak to this?